Saturday, 21 September 2013

"There is no hook turn at Brunswick Road..."!


Friday night was the Castlemaine book launch party for Ellie Marney’s first young adult novel, Every Breath (Allen and Unwin). The official launch was at Readings in Carlton the week before, but this was an opportunity for Ellie to celebrate with family and friends in the close-knit community and to acknowledge the support they’d given her. It was definitely a party for all ages, with a stream of young children tightly clutching chocolate cake, ducking and weaving between adults...

Ellie is passionate about family, the ties that bind, and writing stories that feature sharp-witted female protagonists. Change, love and growth are recurring themes in her writing - as are country life and people which, ironically, she is able to bring to her new novel, despite its inner-city setting.

Every Breath is a gripping crime thriller set in Melbourne, refreshingly sans the paranormal or the dystopian (that's not to deny my own enjoyment of the dystopian genre, but variety is important). On Friday evening, Ellie read an entertaining exchange between three of the main characters as they bicker over inner-city directions. It's a section that is representative of the book’s authentic dialog, and culminates in Rachel's exasperated shout: "THERE IS NO HOOK TURN AT BRUNSWICK ROAD, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD - "!

I thoroughly enjoyed Every Breath, which is the first in a trilogy series titled, 'Every', and I'm pleased to have a signed copy to give away. Simply email: books@cerealreaders.com. You can read my full review below.
       
Ellie Marney signing a copy of  her YA novel, 'Every Breath'. Email to win!

 REVIEW


Every Breath is a breath of fresh air in the mushrooming realm of young adult fiction. Ellie Marney has written a crime novel rich in romance, flawed characters and realistic dialogue, with an edgy storyline that quickly draws the reader in with its moody narration. 

When we meet Watts and Mycroft they are already good friends, navigating a complex and awkward relationship that resonates with the tension of new sexual awareness. The angular, intense, and somewhat desperate Mycroft pulls at the heart strings of Rachael Watts, a girl feeling displaced and resentful after the loss of her family’s farm and an enforced move to the city of Melbourne.

"Two people united by fate, or random chance, or the law of averages, or destiny, or a freak of nature, or pure dumb luck."

The two are inadvertently drawn into solving the murder of a homeless man they’ve befriended. Already keenly interested in forensics (an elective class they take at school) their inquiries and sleuthing lead them to some dark encounters. Despite admonishment from the police, the teens are compelled to continue their own investigations.

Two adolescents embarking on a murder investigation is a difficult storyline to keep grounded, yet Marney successfully walks that fine line between the believable and the just-plain-unlikely without crossing into farce.

A solid plot and genuine characters with great chemistry, combine to create a refreshing and authentic novel. It’s a thoroughly engaging story that’s hard to put down, and creates a mood that lingers long after. I am poised for books two and three in this crime trilogy, with the next in series, Every Word, due out in June 2014.

Click here to view the Every series on Cereal Readers.

Marielle Rebbechi

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